How do you define happy? As we age don’t our priorities shift? Don’t the requirements to being happy change day by day? And how can we possibly know what the future will hold and whether or not the happiness we have today will still make sense in 5 years? In 15 years? In 30 years?
Shall we judge our happiness based on what society thinks we need to be happy? Do we have our own separate criteria?
Let’s go to the checklists, shall we?
Yes, we shall:
Job Satisfaction – As someone who enjoys an abundance of different activities (writing, dj’ing, volleyball, soccer, math, science, auditing, editing, working on the computer, working with other people, … the list goes on and on), is there ever going to be that one job that I will enjoy doing for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 49 (plus or minus one or so) weeks a year? Probably not. But, I came to grips with that long ago and am happy enough in my current position.
Work/Life Balance – I go to work, and then I leave. I don’t often bring it home with me (literally or figuratively) and it affords me both the time and resources to pursue a multitude of other activities I enjoy. In this, I am very happy.
Home Life – Married the silliest, craziest, most wonderful (and don’t forget gorgeous) woman I’ve ever known. She makes me very happy. We are living “the American dream” as home owners. We have two sweetheart (*ahem* and hellian) cats. A bun in the oven (that is almost ready to come out). I couldn’t think of anything to complain about for this aspect if I thought about it for years. I’m happier than I ever thought I could be.
Money – We make enough to do most of the things we want to do. We make more than some. We make less than others. I’ve never factored this into whether or not I’m happy. If I made less I would find activities I enjoy doing that cost less. If I made more it would make taking care of my growing family easier, sure, but I trust that we will find a way to carry on with what we have. This is not a factor in being happy or not.
Adding it all up: happy enough + very happy + happier than I ever thought I could be + (non factor) = Yes, I am living happily ever after.
How about you?